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Strawberry Sponge Cake

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This strawberry sponge cake combines light, fluffy layers of vanilla cake with whipped cream and fresh strawberries for a dreamy, cloud-like dessert.

Strawberry sponge cake on cake stand with slices removed to show inside

This is my all-time favorite cake in the world.

I grew up eating this type of cake and when I was younger, I called it “Asian cake” because it’s something I only saw at Asian bakeries. While American bakeries would sell sweet, dense cakes topped with thick layers of frosting, Asian cakes are light and ethereal, with soft, fluffy cake and subtly sweet whipped cream, letting the flavors of fresh fruit take center stage. That’s exactly what you get with this strawberry sponge cake recipe.

Whether Japanese, Korean, or Chinese, it seems that all Asian bakeries make this type of cake, but if you don’t live near an Asian bakery, the good news is that you can totally make this cloud-like confection at home—in fact, it’s a lot easier to whip up than the typical fancy layer cake. If cake decorating isn’t your cup of tea, this strawberry sponge cake is the recipe for you!

(PS – If you love strawberries, don’t miss my Mini Strawberry Heart Hand Pies!)

Slice of strawberry sponge cake on plate, garnished with fresh strawberries

What You’ll Need

Here’s everything you’ll need to make a light, fluffy strawberry sponge cake.

For the cake:

  • Eggs — Separate the whites and the yolks.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Milk – Any kind of milk will work.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cake flour
  • Butter – You’ll melt the butter for this recipe; I recommend using unsalted.
  • Strawberries

What Is Cake Flour?

Like all-purpose flour, cake flour is made with wheat, but it’s more finely milled and has a lower level of protein. Less protein means less gluten forms when you mix the cake batter, which is key for a light, fluffy cake. I don’t recommend substituting all-purpose flour here because this cake is allll about that light texture.

For the stabilized whipped cream:

  • Unflavored gelatin
  • Cold water
  • Heavy cream
  • Confectioners’ sugar – This is also known as powdered sugar.
  • Vanilla extract
Overhead view of strawberry sponge cake, decorated with strawberries and one slice being removed

How to Make Strawberry Sponge Cake

Ready for a bakery-style sponge cake at home? Here’s how to make the recipe:

Prepare. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease a 9-inch cake pan.

Beat the eggs and sugar. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the sugar and egg whites. Beat until the egg whites stiff and glossy, then gently beat in the yolks one at a time.

Finish the batter. Remove the bowl from the stand and use a rubber spatula to fold in the milk, vanilla extract, and cake flour in that order, until combined. Gently fold in the melted butter.

Bake. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cake is golden brown. When lightly pressed in the center, the cake should spring back. Cool in the pan on a wire rack before you begin assembling your strawberry sponge cake.

Start the whipped cream. In a small pot, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let it sit for 5 minutes. (Do not stir!) After 5 minutes, stir it and set it over low heat to dissolve the gelatin, stirring constantly. As soon as the gelatin is dissolved, remove it from the heat.

Add the remaining ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract until they have thickened. Slowly add the gelatin mixture and beat until it’s fluffy.

Assemble. After the cake has cooled, use a serrated knife to slice the cake horizontally into two layers. (Be very careful!) Spread a thin layer of whipped cream onto the first cake layer and top this with strawberries. Spread another thin layer of whipped cream over the strawberries, then place the other half of the cake layer on top. Frost the entire cake with the rest of the whipped cream and top with the remaining strawberries. Serve your strawberry sponge cake immediately or refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

Strawberry sponge cake on glass cake stand

Tips for Success

Here are some tips for making this strawberry sponge cake recipe:

  • No stand mixer? No worries! Just use an electric hand mixer instead. I don’t recommend trying to mix this by hand; between whipping the eggs and the whipped cream, that’s a lot of work.
  • Avoid over-mixing. To get a light, airy texture, be careful not to over-mix the batter.
  • Make it your own. You can swap the strawberries for other berries, banana slices, mango, or kiwi. A lot of bakeries sell sponge cakes with a combination of these fruits, too.

How to Store

Strawberry sponge cake is best stored in the refrigerator (either covered or in an airtight container), and it should be eaten within 2 days. After 2 days, you’ll notice that the cake hardens a bit and it isn’t as spongy and light.

Can This Be Frozen?

No, I don’t recommend freezing this strawberry sponge cake. The strawberries will make the whipped cream watery when frozen and thawed.

Overhead view of strawberry sponge cake on two plates, garnished with strawberries
Strawberry sponge cake on cake stand with slices removed to show inside

Strawberry Sponge Cake

This strawberry sponge cake is light and airy—like eating a cloud!
3.5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 10 slices
Author: Julie Chiou
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Ingredients 

For the cake:

  • 4 eggs, whites & yolks separated
  • ½ cup plus 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar, sifted once
  • 3 tablespoon milk, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced

For the stabilized whipped cream:

  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 4 teaspoon cold water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
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Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9" cake pan. Set aside.
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar and egg whites and beat with whisk attachment until stiff and glossy.
  • Gently add the yolks, one at a time, to the egg white mixture until all is incorporated.
  • Remove the bowl from the stand then gently fold in milk, vanilla extract, and cake flour (in that order) with a spatula until combined. Gently fold in the melted butter.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake is golden brown. When pressed, the cake should spring back.
  • Cool the cake in the pan on a wire cooling rack completely.
  • While the cake is cooling, make your stabilized whipped cream.
  • In a small pot, sprinkle the gelatin over the 4 teaspoons of cold water and let sit for 5 minutes. Do not stir. Once it's been 5 minutes, you may stir it and put it on low heat, constantly stirring, to dissolve the gelatin. Once dissolved, set aside.
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract until it has thickened. Then, slowly add in the gelatin mixture and beat until fluffy.
  • Once your cake has cooled, you may begin assembling it. With a sharp knife, slice the cake in half horizontally into 2 layers.
  • Spread a thin layer of the whipped cream on the bottom half of the cake layer and then top with strawberries. Gently spread another thin layer of whipped cream on top of the strawberries then place the other half of the cake layer on top. With the remaining frosting, frost the entire cake. When done, top with the remaining strawberries.
  • Serve immediately or put in fridge for a few hours and then serve.
  • I do not recommend this sitting for more than 2 days as it will harden a little and doesn’t stay as spongy and light.

YOUR NOTES

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 slice | Calories: 234 kcal | Carbohydrates: 25 g | Protein: 5 g | Fat: 13 g | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 16 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Cake
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: chinese sponge cake, japanese sponge cake, two layer cake
Recipe Rating




Lorraine

Friday 20th of May 2022

Wow this cake turned out fantastic will do this again tryed cupcakes turned out good aswell

C. Kim

Friday 11th of February 2022

Can this be made into cupcakes? If so how long would you bake these?

Julie Chiou

Thursday 17th of February 2022

I'm sorry, I haven't tried making them into cupcakes before so I can't properly give advice on this.

Kliara

Sunday 28th of November 2021

Love the recipe but didn’t appreciate the racist commentary.

Julie Chiou

Sunday 28th of November 2021

the hell? you do realize I'm Asian right? and this is what our community calls it and what I grew up on. sorry you don't get it and assume that I'm being racist over something that Asians understand when I say "Asian cake."

GreenOtter110

Saturday 20th of June 2020

I don’t think that this recipe works. I tried it and it didn’t come out right.

Jade

Friday 15th of May 2020

Hi! Can you please tell me if you use a high power or low power on the hand mixer when you beat the eggs? My cake isn’t really rising and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not beating it right or over beating.

Julie Wampler

Wednesday 27th of May 2020

I use high